Photo - Asian Tour
SIZZLING SIVA SERVES A STUNNER AT NEGERI SEMBILAN MASTERS INVITATIONAL
Seremban, Malaysia, July 16: Overnight leader, S. Sivachandran strengthened his stranglehold of the RM500,000 (approximately US$156,000) Negeri Sembilan Masters Invitational 2010 with a second successive six-under-par 66 at the 6,303-metre, par-72 layout of Seremban International Golf Club (SIGC) today.
Siva started at the tenth hole in the afternoon round and quickly built on his lead with three straight birdies at holes 10, 11 and 12. After making a birdie at the 15th, he dropped a shot at the 16th but made amends with birdies at the 17th and 18th to make the halfway mark at five-under for the day.
At the second nine, Siva, who won the KRPM Classic last May, bogeyed holes two and five but recovered brilliantly with three straight birdies at holes seven, eight and nine for a total of nine birdies against three bogeys. Siva’s two-day total of 12-under-par 132 gave him a six-stroke lead over local Akhmal Tarmizee Mohd Nazari and Australia’s Unho Park.
“It was a good game. I had a very good start which helped me a lot to ease the pressure. This is my personal best as a pro. I’ve recorded 12 under before but that was in 4 days but today, I managed 12 under in just two days,” said Siva who is poised to become the first Malaysian to win the championship since its inception in 2005.
Siva mastered the tricky layout with a combination of accurate tee-shots where he didn’t miss a single fairway, patient play, where he used his familiarity with the course to place his shots around and an extremely successful day on the green where he made a handful of long putts for birdies.
“The birdies that I scored saved my game a lot. I had good putts from 20 to 30 feet out. I considered that as my luck but the few missed ones, those were my mistakes,” added Siva. “I don’t have any specific game plan for the weekend. In this game, you can’t put any target. All you can do is to play as good as you can.”
Meanwhile, Park, who lost in a play-off against Juvic Pagunsan of the Philippines in 2007, put himself in a good position to challenge for the title this time around with a four-under-par 68 today that leaves him in tie second with Akhmal on six-under-par 138.
The young Akhmal was in fine form this week, coming back with a two-under-par 70 for a two-day score of six-under-par 138. The young gun, who has a very close tie with SIGC, having picked up the game at the club made four birdies at holes four, 11, 17 and 18 while making a double-bogey six at hole 10.
A total of 64 players made the cut set at four-over-par 148. Airil Rizman Zahari and M. Sasidaran, on four-under-par 140, Iain Steel on three-under-par 141 and Mohd. Rashid Ismail on two-under-par 142 are among the leading Malaysians making the cut.